20220223 museum of the future
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Media today (Wednesday) toured Dubai’s Museum of the Future after the official inauguration on 22/02/22. Join Gulf News on the tour of the architectural marvel:

The future is now

The Museum of the Future is a hub for futurists – a word that really sounds daunting. Because one would ask: Who can really predict the future? But when we put it simply, we can actually understand that being a futurist is about advocating change.

After visiting the museum and immersing in its various experiences, one would comprehend that futurists are people motivated by change. This means everyone of us who care to have a better future for mankind.

Another strong message of the museum is that change is a collective effort. The museum is not making a forecast or merely predicting the future. The contents are based on the actual challenges humanity is facing today – climate change, depleting energy sources, food insecurity, mental health, safe future for the kids, and more.

And how are we going to have to a bright future? The answer is simple but needs our collective action: Act now. The future is now.

Chapter 5 Future Heroes

This is the final stop – Museum of the Future’s dedicated space for children. Here, they can explore and play. But this is more than a playground, this is an imagination lab, where kids are encouraged to develop future-proof skills. They will imagine, design and build their own future.

There is also Sedric, short for self-driving car – an all- electric autonomous concept car that can be used for car sharing - just like a taxi or school bus - but also for use as a private car. The concept features five scanners, seven cameras and a number of additional sensors to make it a Level 5 fully autonomous vehicle, enabling it to mimic the behaviour of any human-driven car.

20220223 museum of the future media tour
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Watch out for Robird - this remotely controlled peregrine falcon offers a solution to controlling bird populations at landfills, airports and farms. RoBirds observe real birds to better understand them and replicate their flights. By mimicking their natural counterparts' silhouette and behaviour, these robots are indistinguishable from real-life birds of prey to other birds.

20220223 robird
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Chapter 4: Tomorrow Today

Tomorrow Today explores near-future technologies from the world’s leading innovators.

What can we expect in the next decade or 50 years from now? This question is answered by designers, researchers and corporations responding to man’s future challenges.

Chapter 3: Al Waha

Next destination is Al Waha or The Oasis (in English). This is an immersive experience for advocating mental health. The “future of wellness” is to travel to a sanctuary, free from digital bondage. Here, visitors are reconnected to their human senses and brought to ‘safe sanctum’ where they can find inner peace for the mind, body and spirit.

Real scientists were sent to Amazon for two weeks who went to digitally map the DNA of around 2,400 species. The collected information are being shown at the museum, where visitors can “mix and match” various DNA sequences and see what extinct species can come to life and also have the code to preserve the threatened species.

Next, visitors will be ushered to enter the ‘Vault of Life’, a DNA library of thousands of species, where they can explore and discover new species and participate in a global effort to repair the damages of climate change.

Next stop in the journey to the future is the Heal Institute, where visitors will experience an ecosystem simulator tested for new species. Here, they will go to enter a digital Amazon, where tropical forests come alive and people will have a better understanding how climate change is affecting our environment.

After “flying” to Space, visitors will head back to Earth and land at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.

OSS Hope is symbol of the world’s aspiration to have a better future and the museum speaks of various languages. Engraved on the space station’s immersive command centre are marginal notes written in English, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, French and Hindi.

One futuristic mission is the Sol Project, a global effort to provide energy source to Earth by absorbing energy from the Moon using lunar photovoltaic (PV) energy cells. A wide array of PV cells are spread on the moon source and energy is transported to satellites orbiting the moon, which are then turned into microvave energy beamed on Earth.

The experience at the Musuem of the Future is like rippped from the pages of sci-fiction novels or culled from sci-fi CGI (computer-generated image) films. But it is actually about finding solutions to problems on Earth from here and the future.

Get ready to be recruited. Visitors to the museum will be asked to join one of the six missions, where they will be asked to become an asteroid fleet pilot, bio designer on Earth orbit, Mars colony ambassador, or asteroid fleet pilot

Visitors become space explorers as they get inspiration from space pioneers and get an immersive experience of life in space.

The space journey is made complete with a docking experience on OSS Hope. Visitors will then be ushered to the command centre of the station, where they will have a complete view of the moon, being transformed into a source of renewable energy for Earth.

Visitors will experience a simulated journey to space. The liftoff from Dubai is a sight to behold, complete with seeing the Burj Al Arab and The Palm Jumeirah from the side of the space shuttle.

First stop is aboard OSS (Orbital Space Station) Hope. Launching from Dubai, a replica of the space shuttle made by NASA in 1981 will take visitors 600kms above the Earth. While it took two days for astronauts back in 1980s to reach the Orbital Space Station, visitors to Museum of the Future will only need 4 minutes and 30 seconds to reach their destination in space.

The narrative of the Museum of the Future is told in five chapters:

  1. OSS Hope
  2. Heal Institute
  3. Al Waha (Oasis)
  4. Tomorrow Today
  5. Future heroes

The interior of the museum is divided into seven levels. Visitors will be greeted by Aya, the digital resident of the Museum. The avatar also serves as a visionary technologist.

To reimagine the future, one must be open to new possibilities. And Aya’s first advice to visitors at the Museum of the Future, whatever they will see are not “not predictions but challenges.” Discoveries that help mankind have a better future, presented through immersive light and sound show, using the latest technnologies.

Gulf News was among the select media given a tour of the futuristic museum, a day after its official opening on 22-02-22 (22 February 2022).

The future is now. One cannot help but be enthralled upon entering the door of the Museum of the Future. Every corner speaks about the future. Every nook tells a story about tomorrow, today.

One day after The Museum of the Future, was officially inaugurated in Dubai, I can’t believe I am actually inside “the most beautiful building on Earth”.

Earlier in the day, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, paid a visit to the newly opened museum.

"Today I visited the Museum of the Future, to explore the experiences it will provide to visitors and the potential for this new centre for futurists and intellectuals. Our support for this important global hub for future innovation and human development is a long term commitment," Sheikh Mohammed wrote on his twitter account.

Last evening, His Highness, alongside senior UAE government officials, formally inaugurated the museum turning on the lights of the 77-metre high pillarless torus-shaped structure sitting atop a green mound, planted with endemic trees and plants, representing the Earth.

The Museum of the Future consists of three main elements: the hill or plateau from which the building rises, the external design of the building and the exhibition areas of the museum.

The museum employs the latest technologies in virtual and augmented reality, big data analysis, artificial intelligence and human machine interaction to answer questions related to the future of humanity, cities, societies and life on Earth, as well as to outer space.